Newsletter Volume 29 Issue 1, Jan 2017
From The Editor
Back in the 1931, during the Great Depression, Aldous Huxley started to write a parody of the H.G. Wells utopian novel, Men Like Gods. As he worked on Brave New World, Huxley moved from satire to a serious message about how civilisation was to survive the crisis it then faced. Today we are again seeing parody turn serious. See below, Brave Neo World.
“Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags have become almost ubiquitous — look carefully, and you’ll notice them in passports, credit cards, library books, office access passes, and even pet cats….The technology, which allows fast, automated identification of physical objects, is also a staple for many industries — factories and warehouses use it to track inventory and manage supply chains, pharmaceutical companies deploy it to track drugs, and courier services use it to tag deliveries. But what would happen if RFID technology were compromised?”
This question is asked and answered in a December 24, 2016 ScienceDaily article based on Materials provided by Singapore Management University. See below, Hack-proofing our devices.
The danger from hackers of IoT devices is meticulously exposed in an 18 Jan 17 KrebsOnSecurity blog, whose author writes “This is easily the longest story I’ve ever written on this blog. It’s lengthy because I wanted to walk readers through my process of discovery, which has taken months to unravel. The details help in understanding the financial motivations behind Mirai and the botnet wars that preceded it.” See below, DDoS Gang Wars – The Millennial Mobsters.
“The focus on GDP leads to mantras such as “jobs and growth” with an urgency that implies that there is not the time nor the resources to make economic growth fair or sustainable. Further, short election cycles make quick-grab economic gains more attractive than putting in place long-term plans for a more sustainable and fairer future.”
The above quote is from a January 4, 2017 article in The Conversation. See below How and why we are moving beyond GDP as a measure of human progress.
Articles in the current Issue cover:
“Another example is a blatant piece of fake news in which Scotland’s Sunday Herald reviewer Damien Love equates the impending President Trump inauguration with a new episode of ‘The Twilight Zone’.”
“ We in fact carry RFID around in our pockets — mobile payment systems such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet use a specialised form of the technology. Given our increasing reliance on smartphones for everyday functions — banking transactions and contactless payments, for example — mobile security has become an area of critical importance.”
“ This lengthy blog is a real eye-opener, reminiscent of the 1920’s gang wars between prohibition era mobsters, but fortunately without the bloodshed. At least not yet.”
“ Unlike our current metrics, the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) will be a common set of goals and measures able to track progress and provide real baselines and comparisons of what matters most.”
Raj Dalal, Founder & Principal BigInsights, was one of the presenters at our popular ACOSM16 Conference in June. Raj has now provided a QESP blog giving details of the Australian Innovation Shines at BigInsights Data Innovation Awards. Award Winners Include Startups, Researchers and Corporates. See https://qesp.org/australian-innovation-shines-biginsights-data-innovation-awards-award-winners-include-startups-researchers-corporates/
QESP/ ACS NSW evening networking event
A further joint QESP/ ACS NSW evening networking event is now being planned for 2017, see http://qesp.org/progalore.
NSW ACS Women Event
NSW ACS Women have announced the PREMIERE screening of the inspirational Oscar nominated film Hidden Figures at a 16 February 2017 Sydney event, see https://ibs.acs.org.au/xenng/eventdetails.html?eventTrn=50380790104006#/paneSessions.
Quote of the Day
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions that I wish it to be always kept alive.” – Thomas Jefferson (American 3rd US President (1801-09)
Quote from Yesteryear
“Some folks are wise and some are otherwise.” ~Tobias Smollett